Skip the restaurant and make weeknight meals exciting again with these Shrimp Fajitas! This one skillet recipe is ready in only 30 minutes and doesn’t require any marinating. Just season, sauté, and serve!
Shrimp Fajitas are here to make weeknight meals exciting again!
Tender and perfectly seasoned shrimp are sautéed in a bed of colorful bell peppers and onions to create your family’s new favorite meal. Ready in only 30 minutes, you’ll definitely want to make this a part of your regular meal plan. I know I have!
There’s no marinating involved or any fancy ingredients needed for this recipe. All you need to do it season, sauté, and serve. For a fajita night to remember, make sure to include my Mexican rice, refried beans, and fresh homemade salsa with the best tortilla chips!
Tips For Cooking With Shrimp
To begin, defrost your frozen shrimp overnight in the refrigerator. This is the safest way to prepare shrimp and lessen the risk of harmful bacteria. Remember: seafood and room temperature don’t mix!
The major tell when shrimp is cooked is when it turns from gray and translucent to pink and white. Too much white is a telltale sign that the shrimp is overcooked, so make sure to follow directions carefully.
Always season or marinate shrimp before cooking. The flavors will soak into the fish once heat is applied. Be careful with citrus-based marinades as the acid can actually cook the meat if it marinates for more than 2 hours.
Ingredients You’ll Need
- Large shrimp – The bigger, the better. You can remove and discard the tails before cooking so they’re easier to eat, or leave them on during cooking and remove them before serving.
- Garlic – Freshly minced garlic will give you the best flavor, but feel free to use 1 teaspoon of garlic powder if that’s all you have.
- Chili powder, onion powder, smoked paprika, coarse kosher salt, ground cumin, and black pepper – This fajita seasoning mix isn’t overly spicy and has the authentic Mexican flavors you love.
- Olive oil – Or any kind of neutral oil (like vegetable, sunflower, or grape seed oil).
- Bell peppers – You can use any color of bell peppers. I used 3 different colors to make the dish colorful and inviting, but just use what you have!
- Onion – Use any type of onion that you have – white, yellow, or red are all great options!
- Lime juice – For a zesty finish.
- Cilantro – Fajitas topped with fresh cilantro have endless flavor.
How to Make Shrimp Fajitas
- Season the shrimp: Throw the shrimp, garlic, chili powder, onion powder, smoked paprika, salt, cumin, black pepper, and 1 1/2 tablespoons of olive oil into a large bowl. Mix everything together until the shrimp is well coated.
- Sauté onions and peppers: Add the peppers and onions to a large skillet with oil, then cook over medium-high heat for around 15 minutes or until the peppers have softened and onions have started to caramelize. Transfer the cooked peppers and onions to a bowl, cover with a plate to keep them warm, and set aside.
- Cook the shrimp: Add the seasoned shrimp to the skillet. Stir occasionally until the shrimp are pink and no longer translucent (about 5 minutes).
- Bring everything together: Add the cooked peppers and onions back into the skillet, and top with lime juice and chopped cilantro. Mix everything together, taste, and season with more salt if necessary.
- Serve and enjoy: Remove from heat and serve in warm flour tortillas with sour cream, avocado slices, and other desired toppings.
Can I make these on a sheet pan instead?
Yes! Just season the peppers, onions, and shrimp in a large bowl with the fajita seasoning and then pour everything onto a large sheet pan. Cook at 400°F for about 10 minutes, then remove the shrimp from the pan and cover with foil while the veggies continue to cook. Set the broiler to high and cook the vegetables for another 4 minutes, then serve!
Can I grill the shrimp instead?
Yes, you can also grill the shrimp for some added smoky flavors. Season the shrimp as per the instructions and pierce with skewers. Grill the shrimp skewers on medium heat for 3 minutes per side while sautéeing or grilling the vegetables separately.
Tips and Substitutions
- If shrimp isn’t your thing, try my easy chicken fajitas or steak fajitas instead.
- Want to up the spice level? Add in a few jalapeno peppers or some serrano peppers!
- Put it in a tortilla! I highly recommend enjoying fajitas with freshly made flour tortillas. If you’re gluten-free, use my recipe for corn tortillas instead.
Storing and Reheating
To store the leftover fajitas, keep them in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 3 to 4 days. You can also wrap them tightly in plastic wrap or foil. Do not keep cooked shrimp at room temperature for more than 2 hours or else unwelcome bacteria can begin to grow.
Make sure leftovers are safe to eat. Smell the leftover shrimp before eating again. If it smells sour and feels slimy, throw it away.
To reheat leftovers, add them to a skillet over medium heat. Cook for 2 or 3 minutes or until everything is warmed through.
Shrimp fajitas pair perfectly with a warm tortilla and abundant toppings. Fill every tortilla with some chopped cilantro, sour cream, avocado crema, or Mexican crema, and fresh lime wedges for loads of flavor!
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For the shrimp fajitas
- 1 1/2 pound large shrimp, peeled and deveined
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 tablespoon chili powder
- 1 teaspoon onion powder
- 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
- 1 teaspoon coarse kosher salt, plus more to taste
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
- 3 tablespoons olive oil, divided
- 3 bell peppers, sliced
- 1 medium onion, sliced
- 2 tablespoons lime juice, about 1 lime
- 2 tablespoons chopped cilantro
- In a large bowl, add the shrimp, garlic, chili powder, onion powder, smoked paprika, salt, cumin, black pepper, and 1 1/2 tablespoons of olive oil. Mix together to combine and set aside.
- Heat remaining 1 1/2 tablespoons in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add peppers and onions and cook, stirring occasionally, for 13-15 minutes until peppers have softened and onions have started to caramelize.
- Transfer the cooked peppers and onions to a bowl, cover with a plate, and set aside.
- Add the seasoned shrimp and cook, stirring occasionally, for 5 minutes or until the shrimp are pink and no longer translucent.
- Add the cooked peppers and onions back into the skillet, and top with lime juice and chopped cilantro. Mix everything together, taste, and season with more salt if necessary.
- Remove from heat and serve in warm flour tortillas with sour cream, avocado slices, and other desired toppings.
- You can use any color bell peppers that you have. I used 3 different colors to make the dish colorful and inviting, but just use what you have!
- You can use any type of onion that you have – white, yellow or red are all great options!